Wednesday, February 21, 2007

the host

The Host (Joon-ho Bong, 2006) - 7.5/10

Like Steven Spielberg's film Jaws, about a creature terrorizing the ocean, the Korean film The Host treads on the same idea. Except The Host isn't about a shark, but a sewer monster that lives in the Han River of Seoul and terrorizes those that surround it.

The film opens with two doctors rummaging through bottles of toxic chemicals. One of the doctor is told to dump some of those chemicals rarely in use. Pouring toxic chemicals down the drain means having it flow into the Han River. A mutant creature emerges from the river, attacking those in its way.

After a little girl is grabbed by the mutant, her family attempts to hunt down the mutant and retrieve the little girl, Hyun-seo. Hee-bong, the owner of a small snack shop located along the Han River lives with his daughter (Nam-joo), grand-daughter (Hyun-seo), and two sons (Gang-du & Nam-il). Gang-du is the father of Hyun-seo.
The military arrives to evacuate the city and disinfect, for fear of a virus outbreak. Hyun-seo's family is placed under quarantine. Their belief in Hyun-seo's survival prompts them to escape. At this point, it is a chase between Hyun-seo's family versus mutant, and the law versus Hyun-seo's family.

A pretty good monster thriller with a mix of odd comedy you wouldn't expect, sometimes wondering if intentional or unintentional. You feel yourself pulling for Hyun-seo's father as he's stricken with grief and unfairly treated by the law. The character Hyun-seo herself evokes a great amount of believability that you feel compelled by her situation.

Under all the monster action is an underlying moral of family relationships. Where Gang-du has been neglecting his role as a father, he realizes through the above circumstances his faults. The Host is entertaining for its genre, and quite on par with Jaws.

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